Hailing from San Antonio, Texas, today we have Scars of the Flesh and their third full-length release “In Darkness Alone”. Unleashing five original tracks and four very well crafted cover songs, the band showcases their own brand of Death Metal with some Melodic/Progressive influences for over 50 minutes of engaging music. For fans of bands like Cenotaph, The Chasm, and similar outfits, this band packs a big punch and nicely combines it with a good dose of melody.
Opening with the punishing “Only I”, a dark and sinister mood is quickly set thanks to the incisive guitars and Kobey Lange’s growls. While there are plenty of classic Death Metal riffs used, tracks like “The Hooded One” and “In Darkness Alone” add extra layers of melody alongside technical craftiness and even some additional atmospheric elements. Our favorite track has to be the mournful “Memory Unknown”, a track that has some killer Doomy undertones and excellent guitar leads and headbanging moments.
Delivering a hefty dose of high-octane Progressive Death Metal, today we have Lamentations and their sophomore release “Passion of Depression”. We particularly enjoy proggy/technical releases that actually have well structured and enjoyable songs and are not just a self-wanking fest of technical proficiency. Luckily for the listeners the band unleashes seven excellent songs filled with crafty tempo changes, moody arrangements and excellent musicality.
From the lush opener “Prodigal”, we get a very engaging Cynic-meets-Persefone vibe, perfectly balancing proggy interludes with some heavier and more complex sections. All band members this time around are basically the same guys behind Monotheist, and it shows that the music is quite cohesive and well integrated, with each instrument shining at different stages but never overpowering the general flow of tracks like “Anew” and “Shiver”. These tracks deliver excellent melodic passages, dreamy vocals and a pulsating bass guitar line.
Hailing from France, today we have a very engaging and technically proficient outfit with Catalyst and their sophomore full-length release “A Different Painting for a New World”. With a very catchy and crafty Tech/Prog Death Metal sound, reminding us of a mixture of Scar Symmetry, Persefone, and Into Eternity, this band delivers nearly one hour of neck-snapping music that will immediately please any fan of the genre.
After building momentum with the opener, the band wastes no time to unleash their riffing onslaught with the pummeling “To Unleash Thy Heinous Fate”, a track that is both blistering and crafty. The band’s style is very well balanced as they expertly mix harsh grows and tempo changes with virtuosity as we can hear in pieces like “The Last Warning”, “Worms and Locusts”, and “Arise of the Anathema”. This last track is one of our favorites thanks to how dynamic and explosive it is.
Unleashing a nice old-school Death Metal vibe, Ravenoir delivers over 40 minutes of catchy and engaging music with “In the Womb of Sin”. With a sound more akin to Grave, Dismember, and Entombed than current DM outfits, the band perfectly balances atmospheric elements with melody and crunchy guitars. Featuring a couple of members of the defunct Root and other Czech outfits, this release is full of nostalgia and craft songs for any fan of the genre.
After setting a mysterious and yet imposing mood with the opener “The Ecstasy of Desecration”, the band’s excellent riffing sets the album’s more sinister tone with the brilliant album title track. Changing gears into more traditional and punishing territories, “The Cold of Casemates” and “The Scene Obscene” have that vicious edge that makes this band standout from the rest, particularly when combined with the subtle atmospherics and the intense guitar leads.
Showcasing a very different side of their music, today we have Germany’s Décembre Noir with their latest EP “Pale Serenades”. Featuring a re-interpreted version of an individual track of each of the band’s previous releases: "The Renaissance Of Hope", "Autumn Kings", "Forsaken Earth" and "A Discouraged Believer", the listener is treated to a more naked and direct approach from the band, creating a very unique and powerful experience.
The release opens with “A Swan Lake Full of Tears”, a very solemn and melancholic track which also features Nick Moss on guest vocals, adding that extra punch to make the song even more special. Next up, we have the fragile “Barricades” with lush and dramatic piano arrangements alongside Aaron Stainthorpe’s mournful guest vocals. This is certainly our favorite track of the release.
After being catapulted to ‘wide-spread’ success in the Metal scene with “The Satanist” in 2014, Poland’s Behemoth has leveled audiences around the world with their vicious Blackened Death Metal and their commanding stage presence. Fast-forward eight years, the band unleashes “Opvs Contra Natvram” which has an even more refined sound than their previous effort “I Loved You at Your Darkest”. Staying in their comfort zone, this release continues Behemoth’s aural aggression with ten solid tracks.
Opening with the atmospheric and ritualistic “Post-God Nirvana”, the band sets a mysterious aura around this album that explodes wide opening with the pummeling “Malaria Vvlgata”. Perfectly intertwining furious riffing and crafty tempo changes, this track shows the band’s ability to crush skulls while keeping a tense atmosphere. Featuring some awesome vocal arrangements, “The Deathless Sun” is one of those tracks that crawls under your skin delivering eerie moody passages and blistering guitar leads.
It has been a while since we got an album that we have to drop everything we are doing in order to pay full attention. Luckily for us, An Abstract Illusion’s sophomore release “Woe” is one of those rare gems. Unleashing nearly one hour of highly melancholic Atmospheric/Melodic Death/Progressive Metal, this band will turn heads with their excellent songwriting skills and brilliant delivery. Just think of Cynic meets Bel’akor meets Countless Skies, as this release is both explosive and bombastic.
Opening with the crafty “The Behemoth That Lies Asleep”, the band sets a magical and dreamy mood with dramatic guitar leads and ethereal atmospherics. Reminding us a bit of Andora’s Persefone, “Slaves” perfectly balances agression with lush instrumental passages and crafty arrangements. Clocking in at 11 minutes, “Tear Down This Holy Mountain” is one blistering piece that expertly builds momentum with dramatic tempo changes, including some magical jazzy passages.
Starting out as a ‘for fun’ band, Bloodbath has actually released some killer releases in the last decade and continues to bring back that nostalgic old-school Swedish/Florida Death Metal vibe. With “Survival of the Sickest” the band blows almost any other band out of the water with nearly 45 minutes of piercing and chugging DM. Unleashing the sickest and most neck-snapping release in the genre, this is an album you can't miss out on.
Quickly setting the mood with “Zombie Inferno” and “Putrefying Corpse”, the band quickly establishes superiority with incisive chuggy guitar riffs paired with crafty leads and pummeling drumming. Anders Nyström and Tomas Åkvik are on point delivering that old-school razor sharp distortion while keeping a modern and clean edge on things. We love how the band goes from a track like “Dead Parade” to “Malignant Maggot Therapy”, mixing both elements of the Swedish and the Florida DM scene, creating a very engaging and heabanging infusing style.
Hailing from the swamps of Florida, today we Massacre and their latest EP “Mythos”. As you would expect, the band plays a mean old-school American Death Metal, with elements from all the genre greats plus their own antics. For a band that has been on and off over the years, the band’s sound is quite polished and will have you headbanging from start to end and feeling nostalgic, so definitely a good addition to any DM fan’s collection.
Starting with the chugging riffs of “Behind the Serpent's Curse”, the band sets a pretty gnarly mood with crafty drumming and engaging tempo changes. This track also features guest Anders Odden of Cadaver, giving it an extra killer punch. One of our favorite things about old-school American DM is that songs are usually short, with a heavy kick, and far from linear, as we can hear in “The Dunwich Horror” and “The Mythos That Lovecraft Built”.
Hailing from the Netherlands, Sever Torture is one of those bands that has been around for a while and still does not get the recognition they deserve. With their “Fisting the Sockets” EP, the band’s first formal release in over 12 years, we get three tracks of crushing (and catchy) Death Metal with that old-school Dutch flair and some modern elements.